Meet the Graduates

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Meet the Graduates profile page

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Katarina

Katarina was one of a few graduates who worked in a corporate role during her graduate year. The highlight of the year for Kat was the opportunity to project manage the department’s annual trivia night.

What university did you attend?

University of Sydney

What is your qualification?

Bachelor of Commerce and Bachelor of Arts

Where are you from originally?

Sydney

What areas of the department did you work in during your graduate year?

I worked in the Learning and Development team in People Branch, and the North Asia and Europe team in the International Strategy Branch.

What type of work did you do?

In learning and development I worked on developing content for a monthly newsletter, assisted in the organisation and administration of departmental learning and developing programs, and attended a number of interdepartmental meetings to discuss learning and development strategies.

In the North Asia and Europe team I coordinated a Ministerial trip to the South Pacific, assisted in managing the bilateral relationship between Australia and China, Japan and Korea, and coordinated departmental engagement with the OECD.

What was the highlight of your graduate year?

Organising the graduate hosted trivia night for the department was definitely a highlight. It was great to see a large-scale project through from start to finish that was not only a huge success but was for a charitable cause as well!

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Jack

Jack joined the department as part of the generalist discipline and was selected to undertake his second graduate program rotation in the Corporate Legal area. He is now enjoying working as a government lawyer.

What university did you attend?

The University of Adelaide

What is your qualification?

Bachelor of Laws and Bachelor of Development Studies

Where are you from originally?

Western Victoria

What areas of the department did you work in during your graduate year?

I spent my first rotation helping out with the coordination of the Budget process in the office of the then Associate Secretary, Robert Griew.

My second rotation was in the Corporate Legal, focusing mainly on Freedom of Information requests and privacy.

What type of work did you do?

My first rotation included a wide variety of secretariat-type work: liaising between different teams; facilitating meetings and providing minutes; writing speeches and talking points; preparing briefs for Ministerial Submissions and providing quality assurance for Questions on Notice.

My second rotation in the legal area consisted mainly of processing requests for information in accordance with legislation and administrative law. I also provided general advice and training on issues of probity and privacy.

What was the highlight of your graduate year?

Attending senate estimates and watching the theatrics.

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Kate

Kate’s graduate year included rotations in International Group and Industry Skills and Quality Group. She really enjoyed her second rotation role providing secretariat support to an Advisory Group of government and industry representatives.

What university did you attend?

Australian National University, University of Canberra and Australian Catholic University

What is your qualification?

Bachelor of Arts (International Relations); Graduate Diploma of English Language Teaching and Community Development; Master of Social Work

Where are you from originally?

Nethercote – a locality just outside of Eden on the far south coast of New South Wales.

What areas of the department did you work in during your graduate year?

My first rotation was in International Group. I worked mainly in Cluster and Group Support and did a short stint in the Scholarships section. My second rotation, and where I stayed at the conclusion of the programme, was in the Industry Skills and Quality Group, where I worked in the Work based Training and Apprenticeships Policy section.

What type of work did you do?

I worked as a learning and development officer in Cluster and Group Support. My role involved assisting to organise and manage learning and development priorities for staff in the Cluster.

As a program officer with the Scholarships Section I assisted with the opening of the New Colombo Plan scholarship round. I supported tender processes and IT testing, developed and reviewed supporting material for universities and students and assessed applications.

During my rotation in the Industry Skills and Quality Group I worked as a policy officer. I provided secretariat support for an advisory group appointed by the then Assistant Minister, prepared ministerial correspondence, briefings, submissions and other policy documents, and also helped to prepare new policy proposals.

What was the highlight of your graduate year?

I had only been in my second rotation for a short time when the then Assistant Minister for Education and Training called together an Advisory Group of government and industry representatives to provide advice on targeted areas for apprenticeships policy reform. Providing secretariat support for this group was a really exciting piece of work to be involved in and a fantastic introduction to policy work. I got to work on a whole range of things, including coordinating logistics, researching and producing meeting papers, drafting Ministerial briefings and synthesising Advisory group member perspectives into summary papers and a recommendation report. I stayed with the team after the graduate program concluded and it has been gratifying to see how the work I was involved in during the rotation has then fed into future reform considerations.

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Erin

A highlight for Erin was meeting the other graduates and forming networks in the department. Everyone was welcoming and willing to take the time to help her find her feet.

What university did you attend?

I completed my undergraduate studies at Griffith University in Brisbane. I received my post-graduate certifications from the University of Southern Queensland.

What is your qualification?

I have a Bachelor of Arts (Languages and Linguistics), Bachelor of Education (Secondary) and a Master of Education. 

Where are you from originally?

Originally from New South Wales, I have spent many years in Queensland and also lived abroad in Asia. 

What areas of the department did you work in during your graduate year?

My first rotation was in the HERI cluster in the International Group, working on the South East Asia desk.

My second rotation was in the Schools and Youth Cluster, working on the Teach For Australia program and also working on the “Literacy and Numeracy Test for Initial Teacher Education Students” (the Test) policy and legislation. 

What type of work did you do?

My work in the International Group largely focused on supporting the department’s international agenda by helping prepare materials for key bilateral meetings, and by providing operational and logistical support to high-level delegations and Ministerial visits and our departmental representatives in Asia.

My second placement was very different. I assisted in the development and implementation of the Test, which required securing legislation and providing administrative support to a governance committee overseeing the project.  I was engaged with public and private sector stakeholders and ongoing liaison and consultation with departmental lawyers, Australian Government Solicitors and the Department of Finance to successfully legislate the Test.

What was the highlight of your graduate year?

A personal highlight was meeting the other graduates and forming networks in the department. The department is so diverse and everyone is so welcoming and willing to take the time to help you find your feet.

The whole year was an amazing experience as the program isn’t a typical graduate program where you receive minimum exposure to the goings on within the office. Actively working on new policy development, preparing for ministerial visits overseas, and the everyday going-on was a real highlight of the program.

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Eleanor

As a specialist legal graduate, Eleanor worked in the department’s legal branches providing a broad range of legal advice to business areas within the department. One of Eleanor’s highlights in her graduate year was the atmosphere and culture of the department.

What university did you attend?

Flinders University

What is your qualification?

Bachelor of Laws and Legal Practice (Hons) / Bachelor of International Studies; Admission as a Barrister and Solicitor of the Supreme Court of South Australia.

Where are you from originally?

Adelaide

What areas of the department did you work in during your graduate year?

As a specialist legal graduate, I undertook both of my rotations within the department’s legal branches – first in the People, Privacy and Property team; and then in the Schools, Youth and Child Care team.

What type of work did you do?

Statutory interpretation and advising on legislation administered by the department; general advice on Commonwealth legislation in so far as it impacts the work of the department; and corporate, contract, and commercial work in relation to both Commonwealth and non-Commonwealth agreements.

What was the highlight of your graduate year?

The work, the people, the atmosphere and culture of the department - everything I experienced during my graduate year just confirmed that I’d made the right choice in taking up a role with the Department of Education (now Education and Training).

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Steph

Steph enjoyed being exposed to a variety of work that allowed her to travel and broaden her skills. Steph’s highlight was working on the University Open Day project.

What university did you attend?

UTS

What is your qualification?

Bachelor of Global Studies

Where are you from originally?

Central Coast

What areas of the department did you work in during your graduate year?

International Scholarships (New Colombo Plan), Higher Education (Products and Services) and Higher Education Communications.

What type of work did you do?

The work has been quite varied, especially across the three areas. I have written ministerials and briefs, managed stakeholder engagement through direct organisation and co-ordination with Universities and their staff/students and responding to group mailbox enquiries for the section. I have been lucky enough to be involved in some travel, going to various states and universities depending on what projects I was working on.

What was the highlight of your graduate year?

The highlight was working on the University Open Day project. I relished the opportunity to be responsible for such a large project and loved being able to meet and work with so many people across the Department

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